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A.I. is coming for our jobs! Or not. It depends on who you ask.
Since the public launch of OpenAI's ChatGPT in November, the predicted shift to an artificial intelligence-driven workforce has stoked concerns about what comes next. In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the worry we’re seeing in the early stages of A.I. development is a reason to be optimistic.
"On one hand, the pace at which we can think and adapt as societal institutions compared to the pace at which the technology is evolving, there seems to be a mismatch," Pichai said. "On the other hand, compared to any other technology, I've seen more people worried about it earlier in its lifecycle, so I feel optimistic about the number of people who started worrying about the implications, and hence the conversations are starting in a serious way as well."
Worries about AI replacing humans are also overblown, Dr. Marek Suchenek, Professor of Computer Science at Cal State Dominguez Hills, told Decrypt in an interview.
"Historically, new technology has eliminated certain jobs, but the benefits have largely outweighed the disadvantages," Suchenek said. "While some jobs were lost, the Industrial Revolution created many higher-paying and more appealing opportunities for workers.
While machines can become more intelligent than a single person, they are unlikely to surpass humanity's combined intelligence, he said.
"AI has the potential for misuse, as unscrupulous developers could create malicious software for economic or political gain [or] use AI to impose control over others, leading to permanent tyranny," Suchenek added. "It is important to be aware of these issues when considering AI's impact on society."
Google and Microsoft have been in a race to bring artificial intelligence to the masses, with both tech giants—and Amazon's AWS—rolling out tools and products like Google's Bard and Microsoft's Bing that incorporate ChatGPT into their search engines.
The two tech giants have thrown billions into AI development. In January, Microsoft invested $10 billion in OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. In February, Google teamed with ChatGPT rival, Anthropic to accelerate the development of a reliable and trustworthy A.I. system.
Science fiction authors and Hollywood producers have spent the last hundred years creating grim stories of what happens when A.I. becomes sentient or smarter than its creators.
"These are deep questions," Pichai said. "We call this alignment. One way we think about [it is] how do you develop A.I. systems aligned to human values, including morality?"
Pichai said the development of advanced A.I. needs to include not just engineers, but social scientists, ethicists, and philosophers.
"I think we have to be very thoughtful," he said. "And I think these are all things society needs to figure out as we move along. It's not for a company to decide."
Given heated speculation as to who will have the edge in the race, the stock price of Google took a hit today when a report from the New York Times said that Samsung—manufacturer of the Android mobile phone—was considering using Microsoft's Bing as the default search engine of its devices instead of using Google.
Following the news, stock in Google's parent company Alphabet fell 3.81% from $108.90 to $104.75 before regaining ground to $105.97 on Monday. By comparison, Microsoft's stock price rose slightly from $286.54 to $288.53, following a drop of 1.38% from $290.83 in the last 24-hours according to data from MarketWatch.